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I’d be interested in hearing what people think about Reach. I’ve been to the training and have the app. Anyone else? What are your thoughts?

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I thought it was great. Very simple and easy to use, even for less technical volunteers. We all have circles that are possible to tap, and we will be more influential with our network than a call or text from a stranger.

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You hit on something that has been haunting me all week. Can an authoritarian-leaning leader like N. who recently attempted to pack the court with right-wingers, restrain himself from using the terrorist attacks to inflict even greater suffering on the Palestinian people? Timothy Snyder wrote about the "opportunity" terrorist attacks provide to justify greater aggression. He used the example of the invasion of Iraq after 9/11, something right-wingers had wanted to do for some time. 9/11 gave them the opportunity to justify an invasion, but squandered the vast amount of sympathy and support the world had for us up until then. Ordinary people in both instances are the ones who suffer. We cannot let this happen.

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Oct 14, 2023Liked by Simon Rosenberg

Reach and relational organizing sounds brilliant. There is another level it could go -- call it the "room parent" / "phone tree" model. Simon has talked about how important it is to get people to vote the first day so GOTV can target low-propensity voters and not waste time on high-propensity voters who *will* vote but are delaying. What if Reach also had a function for volunteers to get their circle of friends voting early? Tens of thousands of Democrats volunteer to write postcards and phone bank -- and these volunteers can be encouraged to "adopt" voters they know -- GOTV on a relational basis. It's Voter Circle but on a nation-wide scale. With Facebook and Linked in and IG, the reach could be enormous -- volunteers can be voter-buddies / voting-cheerleaders for the maximum number of voters (and not-duplicative unless by design) -- and then target anonymous door knocking / phone banking energy to a smaller group of voters.

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Simon, fellow hopeful Hopian/Hopiate here. You and your blog help me maintain my sanity during these abnormal times. Much gratitude for all you do. I don’t have extra time to canvas or phone bank so my way of participating in getting to 55 is I carry voter registration forms with me everywhere. When I’m at a store, restaurant, etc I’ll ask the young person helping me, Are you registered to vote? I’d say 80 percent of the time they say no. So I’ll tell them you and your voice matter and whip out a registration form for them to fill out. I’ll briefly explain the encroaching fascism. But it’s usually over their head. My question to you is do you have something I can print out (1 page) that explains why it’s imperative to vote blue? Thank you

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I had a really nice call today with an undecided voter today and got to talk to him about some of the reasons I vote blue. You could probably just type up a bullet list of your own values. E.g. I support common sense gun safety laws, I think kids should be taught the truth in history class, etc.

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Oct 14, 2023·edited Oct 14, 2023Author

It's important to hear about your experience....I think every time I do a shift of calls I get us 2-3-4-5 more votes....usually people who weren't going to vote, weren't sure how to vote, and just needed a little push from a friendly voice....if 10,000 people calling can pick up 2-3-4-5 each votes that's how we win. These calls are particularly important in low turnout, off year elections like Virginia......pls grab shifts, do your cards, canvass - it all really matters.

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Kathryn, this is amazing. Thank you. As I've discussed on here the simple argument you make to other people should be something along the lines of "there are many reasons to vote blue but are one or two that are most important to me" and have it be heartfelt and passionate. I think passion matters here, a lot. A few words I think important - opportunity, freedom - and that Joe Biden is a good President and a good man and is working hard for us. He's a guy who came from modest circumstances, understands our struggle and fights every day to give us the opportunities to make better lives for us and our families. The other guys have lost their way, and if elected again will set us back. But however you end up voting, just please vote. People have died to give this right, and voting is something that every American should be doing. It really matters.

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Oct 14, 2023Liked by Simon Rosenberg

Kathryn, This is a brilliant idea! I was just registering students last week and we used a simple "quiz" to help steer them toward choosing to register as Democrats...we'd ask if they wanted to take the quiz and if they said yes, the questions would be 1) do you believe the government should not play a role in personal family planning decisions? 2) Do you believe that climate change is real and hurting our planet and 3) do you believe that all Americans should have access to affordable health care? Almost always they would answer yes to all three. Then we'd say, the Democrats agree with your views and are fighting for them. The Republicans are fighting against them. Would you like to become a Democrat?

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Oct 16, 2023Liked by Simon Rosenberg

Susan, I really like the kind of low-key approach you are using. going to pass it on to my committee. I've been a member of Hopium for a while and reading but just now really checking in. Busy both getting ready for winter and also VT just organizing. I am chair of my town Dem committee, delegate to county committee, and alt del to state committee. I've done this before, but this time it looks like things are going to get off the ground. Some obstacles last term. This term off to a good start. There seems to be interest in getting beyond the same ol', which hasn't really been effective. Folks here finally recognizing that while VT may be pretty safe (gov race big ?), our future as a nation depends on safe states putting some energy into helping out the states needing a boost in morale and getting vote out. I think we'll be doing some of that, as well as working to increase our own visibility here. Thanks for the tips. Brainstorming sessions coming up.

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Oct 16, 2023Liked by Simon Rosenberg

Thanks for the comment, Annie! Glad you found this tip helpful! Yes, we all need to stick together and brainstorm and share ideas. Thanks for your important work in Vermont!

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Oct 15, 2023Liked by Simon Rosenberg

Suggestion, Kathryn,ask them what they value..

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Oct 15, 2023Liked by Simon Rosenberg

Kathryn, this is great. I also sometimes mention that registering does not obligate one to vote in each and every election and/or for each position, but they need to be registered and ready to go to express their voice on issues they care about. I think that these folks you are giving forms to will ponder this and register, even though it may not be obvious at the moment. I think your personal outreach is powerful.

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I'm on a phonebanking shift with the VA Democrats right now. There are 4 people on the zoom call, including the host. WTF? Everyone's talking about how incredibly important this election is, but then when you ask them to pick up a phone and call a voter, suddenly everyone goes quiet, or starts making excuses. "I'm not COMFORTABLE making phone calls!" Yeah, well, phonebanking makes me uncomfortable too, but FASCISM makes me MORE uncomfortable.

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Do you know when the next Reach training will occur. I would like to use it in my organizing in the Central Valley of California.

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Oct 14, 2023Liked by Simon Rosenberg

https://events.democrats.org/event/584442/

Mary - there is the DNC mobilize link for Reach training. Hope it helps. I would be interested in your thoughts after you attend the training.

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Concerning the new initiatives on voter outreach, I would counsel not to get too excited. There are multiple ways of reaching out to voters. Each of them has advantages and disadvantages, reaches a different subset of voters., and is usable by a different population of volunteers. So it is great to have new methods, but the old methods should not be discarded. The best approach is likely to be multi-faceted.

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Victor my general belief is the more options people have the more they will find one that works for them and will then end up doing more work. Some folks will dive into Reach, others will keep doing their postcards, calls, canvassing.....I just want to do my best in helping people understand the options they have so can find the right fit for them.

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Oct 15, 2023·edited Oct 15, 2023Liked by Simon Rosenberg

Hey Victor, I’m glad you see the value in finding new methods. I hear your concern about keeping the old methods, too. Everyone I am hearing is taking a “both/and” approach not a “this/or” approach. See Simon’s reply and the Biden Team’s plan to ALSO use traditional models of engaging voters. Thanks for sharing, Victor, hope you have a great day!

Edit: corrected “Everyone I, hearing…” to “Everyone I am hearing…”

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Hey Victor! I agree. I have gone to Reach training. I do not think it will be useful for me. The relational organizing seems to assume that democratic activists, like me, have contact with people in our lives who do not share our values already. I could go through my phone contacts and find no one who does not already vote for democrats and most are also activists. The type of people who will spend the time to attend Reach training and use the training, in my opinion, are the people least likely to be effective. With "traditional" organizing, door knocking and phone banking, I am more likely to have conversations with people who need persuasion or who need a nudge to get to the polls.

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Oct 14, 2023Liked by Simon Rosenberg

I was on a Zoom call this morning listening to four Democrats running to replace the State Representative here who resigned recently, Ruth Richardson. Richardson is the Executive Director of Planned Parenthood of Minnesota and the Dakotas and feels that work requires her complete attention. I agree.

This district encompasses three southern suburbs of St. Paul, areas that when I moved here 13 years ago elected mostly Republicans to state and federal offices. An average Zoom meeting with this group usually has 20-25 people. Today, there were more than 70 present. At 9:00am on a Saturday morning. Woot!

The candidates included two men and two women. One of them is a person of color. All are intelligent, capable, focused on public service and making things better for everyone. They answered five tough questions and had a moment at the end for a short vote for me ad. It was just a very hopeful hour of listening to competent, capable people, any of whom would serve and serve well. What a well of riches!!

Like many, I have struggled with what is happening in the US with the House Speaker debacle, and in the Middle East. My best friend is Jewish; she has family is Israel and is the daughter of Holocaust survivors. Many other friends and one neighbor in the same position. What can I do?

Postcards, door knocking, calls to voters. With or without an app, I’m in. (35 year veteran environmental activist here as in been there; done that) And willing to drive the 30 miles to the Wisconsin border and go bar hopping. (Takes me back to my college days, lol and I’m pushing 70)

Listening to four great candidates talk about building on the work of our Blue trifecta government gives me hope. Listening to you and Tom Bonior this week gave me hope. Thank you for the constant focus on Democrats’ terrific work in protecting Democracy!!

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Thank you Sheila!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The answer to some many questions I get, so many worries is do something, take an action, do whatever you can. There is no right or wrong, just what works for you and what you feel most passionate about. But just keep working and putting positive sentiment out into a world overwhelmed by pessimism, negative sentiment, bad faith and endless, endless amounts of right wing horseshit.

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There are so many actual wins that don't get attention from the media, or frankly, enough of us.

But I think there's a perspective that gets lost - which is the struggle for democratic progress is not a sprint (any single race or single election cycle), but it's also NOT a marathon/ triathlon, where an activist has to push themselves to seemingly endless goals at the cost of total exhaustion or irreparable damage.

Instead, the fight for a brighter, more just future, is a relay.

And what matters is that we have a strong team on the field with a clear vision of the course before us, and that the team is good at both passing, and taking the baton and carrying it forward after each lap of the race.

We each have our part to play, in our own way, because victory never comes from any single person (no matter how our mythology likes to present that narrative), but through how we move together (in numbers) in solidarity, with shared values, intent and purpose.

And as the author Anand Giridharadas says:

"We are living through a revolt against the future. The future will prevail"

Highly recommend The Persuaders, and Democracy Awakening - context for where we've been, and hope for where we can/will go...

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Hi Simon, Sylvia Salazar at Tono Latino is an expert on how Latinos in the US use social media, get information, and communicate with each other. She and I have been working together for 6 months in this area, and she's been hammering away at the intersection of US politics and Latinos for 6+ years. She's the face and voice of the Equis youtube channel ¿En Serio? She just explained to a high-level Democratic organizer in a now GOP but flippable majority Latino House district that they could be doing relational organizing with Latinos' personal networks on What'sapp. The organizer was skeptical, asked questions about number of impressions and that sort of thing (such metrics don't exist in these personal networks)--and went to a meeting where she asked whether any of the Latinos there used What'sapp and they all--more than a dozen people--raised their hands. Now the organizer is interested.

I don't see Latinos mentioned in what you quoted here from the Biden campaign. When they get to states like Arizona and Nevada (but really they might as well start learning now) the Biden campaign needs to be smart about the platforms Latinos use and the content formats they use--which are really different from non-Latinos--such as sharing voice memos (otherwise known as voicemails, which non-Latinos have completely abandoned) with each other on What'sapp.

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Oct 14, 2023Liked by Simon Rosenberg

Simon - Thanks for flagging the WashPo article re the DNC pilot program in Wisconsin and Arizona and use of the relational organizing platform REACH. Coincidentally, I attended a REACH training with the DNC this morning and was quite impressed. We are looking into launching a team at Indivisible Marin to support this tactic, perhaps drawing from some of our texting volunteers, since now there seems to be more people interested in texting than texts to go around. Getting behind REACH is a great way for Dems to move the needle in 2024, IMHO.

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“I will work to get someone from the DNC to come talk to our community in the coming weeks about these early, promising initiatives.” Great. Connecting the DNC to the grassroots is so important.

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Confirmed we will have a DNC rep here in November after the November election.

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After reading about “Reach,” I have a couple of comments. Leveraging friends, relatives and neighbors can backfire and result in animosity. That’s what happened to me a few years ago. I responded to misleading info from a republican friend of 6-7 years by simply asking her to check

to make sure the info she’s passing on is correct.

Since she’s a CPA I assumed she cared about

being factual. Boy, was I wrong! She immediately emailed back to express extreme anger. We

haven’t been in touch since then.

I admit it’s as much my fault as it is her’s that we’ve lost touch, but the level of anger and hostility she expressed seemed so “over the top” and irrational to me that I don’t want to be in touch with her. So, all I’m saying is do a little checking on someone’s politics if you can before sending political info to them-especially if it’s a family member.

The next concern I have is this--I don’t think Dem

leadership recognizes the power of social media.

I’ve repeatedly suggested that Dems need a

bigger presence and a lot of pushback on blatant lies, like pretending President Biden should be impeached, even though he’s done nothing wrong.

You could even say President Biden is being impeached by innuendo. Maybe Dem leadership

doesn’t want to pay people to monitor social media,

I don’t know. But they should be a presence on it.

Otherwise we surrender that ground (or platform) to republicans.

Another concern is, I receive around a hundred solicitations for money every day and it feels like an assault, especially when the tone of the solicitations is what I can only describe as bullying. Here’s the thing about that-sending me and others daily solicitations for money is counterproductive because it turns into a protracted daily battle and it clogs up my in-box to the point that I’m missing emails that are important to me, which is very, very annoying.

These manipulations have intensified over the last 6 to 8 years and I’m sorry to say that I feel like I’m continually battling with people who seem to think they know more about my financial status than I do. If they’re treating me that way, they’re treating others that way. The worst ones are the PAC solicitations.

I don’t know what the answer is to the issues about

money. But I do know fighting with donors about

how much and when they donate isn’t a winning strategy. Personally I think the only way to save our democracy and our way of life is to eliminate money as a factor. Citizens United, whether intended or not, has re-organized our entire political landscape to be 100% about money and the natural consequence of that is corruption.

The number one Dem goal should be to pass

legislation to override Citizens U and to allow

ONLY public money for campaigning. My

suggestion to Dem decision-makers is to start talking to voters now about how money has corrupted our politics, using the word “corrupt.” There’s an abundance of examples: The Supreme Court, the FEC, the entire GOP, etc. The answer

isn’t to corrupt the Democratic party in order to compete. The answer may be to acknowledge the corruption, shame it and talk to voters about how

it corrodes who we are as a people and how it

warps our values. I have a feeling people would

like to hear more discussion about values. Anyone

old enough to remember the original Star Trek

knows part of the reason it was popular was

because its stories almost always featured one or

more moral values.

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Oct 16, 2023Liked by Simon Rosenberg

I agree with your take on what comes across as pushy fund-raising. One of the big complaints I've heard from people about dems is that they feel the only thing they get from us is requests for money. I am trying to push for more sense of presence and invitation. That can result in ppl being willing to listen to the explanation of why we need to keep bringing in donations from small donars: the fact that we don't have the deep pockets and privately funded PACS that give the GOP an edge up on expensive ads. We need to try to let them know that our way of fund-raising means our reps are more truly representative of the people in their districts, instead of big-money donars that expect something in return. It's a simple message that gets lost in misinformation and just plain overload, If we can pull off winning back the house and keeping the Senate and White House, we might be able to do something about Citizen United. And I think we CAN do it.

I'm sure glad to got here, finally. Because my group is raring to go and I want to be able to help them get going.

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Oct 15, 2023Liked by Simon Rosenberg

Sounds a lot like what groups like Field Team 6 are doing with postcarding & texting campaigns in VA, AZ, OH, & other states with elections this year. It seems to be effective. It also feels more like the Democratic Party, which I always saw as friendlier, more personal, more like Biden actually. The Republicans always felt to me as stiff, starchy, business-like. But, that's just me.

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Thank you, Simon. Looking forward to helping with Reach.

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Simon, I’m hoping you will be posting about Louisiana, with a Hopium sort of perspective. I am personally hoping Ds are learning from this and proactively identifying mistakes not to make?

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Oct 15, 2023Liked by Simon Rosenberg

Hey Hey Good News! Biden’s Q3 fundraising haul! Thanks MeidasTouch for sharing!

https://www.meidastouch.com/news/biden-crushes-trump-and-gop-field-with-blockbuster-fundraising-quarter

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Oct 16, 2023Liked by Simon Rosenberg

Hooray. That goes in my newsletter, which I'd better get busy on.

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